Untitled: Shelves No. 6
Various glass and plastic objects on three shelf units with perspex covers2009
About the work
Place: Department for International Trade, King Charles Street
This work by Matthew Darbyshire recreates a sense of ‘the retail experience' that a consumer might have in any high street in the UK. In Untitled: Shelves No. 6, Darbyshire presents a series of neon-coloured objects strategically placed on three shelves. Displayed in pairs or groups, these objects include two ordinary plastic beakers from the department store Marks & Spencer, alongside a multi-coloured plastic slotted puzzle from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and a plastic Orange mobile phone tree motif by a blue glass figurine of Jesus. Other items include original objects that have been recast in plastic, such as an antique blue goblet, as well as objects that have been appropriated by the artist, such as a blue Buddha head and a lime green Hookah pipe.
In presenting the viewer with shelves of brightly coloured accessories, the work taps into the aspirational aesthetic of an imagined customer - someone keen to buy into ‘a lifestyle'. Through his use of plastic and a neon colour scheme, Darbyshire points out how increasingly design language has become uniform and homogeneous, causing issues such as taste, style, aspiration and class distinction to become blurred. Darbyshire is interested in how, as a consequence of globalisation, the collapse of boundaries means that contradictions between high and low and East and West cultures are no longer meaningful. This in turn has led to the forced idea of cultural sameness - or a false sense of togetherness - that his playful work so eloquently mimics.
Matthew Darbyshire was born in Cambridge in 1977. He graduated from the Slade School of Fine Art in London in 2000 and completed a post-graduate diploma at the Royal Academy Schools in London in 2005. In 2008, he had solo exhibitions in Basle, Switzerland, and at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London. In 2009, his work will be shown at Herald St and the Hayward Gallery Project Space, both in London.
About the artist
Matthew Darbyshire was born in Cambridge in 1977. He graduated from the Slade School of Fine Art in London in 2000, and completed a post-graduate diploma at the Royal Academy Schools in London in 2005. In 2006 he was appointed an Associate Lecturer at Chelsea College of Art. Darbyshire is a founder member of the artist discussion group Canal which focuses on talks, screenings and performances and which collaborated with the Whitechapel Gallery on a one year project between 2008 and 2009. Exhibitions by Darbyshire include had solo shows in Basel and London (both 2008); and participation in the Tate Triennial exhibition at Tate Britain in 2009. Recent solo shows include Passive Sensor at Herald Street, London (2016); An Exhibition of Modern Living at Manchester Museum of Art (2015); and A Way of Life (in homage to Jim Ede) at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge (2013).
- vase (as Subject), tree, bird, wine glass (as Subject), bottle, Emperor, New Testament, Buddha, chair
- Materials & Techniques
- shelf unit, vase (as Artists Materials), hookah, beaker, toy sculpture, plastic cutout (tree with bird), plastic chair sculpture (interlocking pieces), Buddha head, goblet, Coca-Cola glass, wine glass (as Artists Materials), shot glass, plastic Chinese emperor sculpture, plastic Jesus sculpture, plastic, wall-mounted sculpture, perspex cover, coloured, blue, green
Matthew Darbyshire (1977 - )
- Untitled: Shelves No. 6
- Various glass and plastic objects on three shelf units with perspex covers
- height: 151.00 cm, width: 110.00 cm, depth: 26.00 cm
- Purchased from Herald St, April 2009
- Herald St, London
- GAC number